The Technology Strategy Board is investing up to £4m in a competition to stimulate development of an open application and services ecosystem in the Internet of Things (IoT). Read the brief here.
Why is the Internet of Things important?
The Internet of Things describes the trend for environments, buildings, vehicles, clothing, portable devices and other objects to carry or be associated with increasing amounts of information and to be able to sense, communicate, network and produce new information.
It involves technologies and services that, with the rapidly expanding amount of data from the physical world increasingly accessible via the Internet, will have a radical impact on business and how we live. It is generally thought that over time it will lead to a massive expansion in the scale and scope of the current internet.
Of course, many sectors use technologies such as sensors to collect data – industry monitors manufacturing processes; hospitals monitor their patients, cities monitor traffic flows.
If this data could be accessible more widely within and across sectors and applications, we can envisage endless new possibilities, eg
· even greater personalisation of the retail experience,
· integration of weather and transport conditions to create smoother journeys,
· smart energy efficient buildings which respond to and predict the preferences of their occupants,
· the ability to track pharmaceuticals and foods from manufacture through to consumption,
· instant information delivered to clinicians on the health and well-being of their patients.
Many processes which currently require human intervention will be automated, drastically reducing transactions costs and times.
To fully realise the potential of the IoT and to achieve the rates of innovation and wealth creation we have witnessed with the development of the Internet, we need an data-rich, open applications and services ‘ecosystem’ which extends both within and across sectors.
Why are demonstrators needed?
There is emerging consensus on the challenges and barriers to the emergence of an open IoT ecosystem. These include:
· The cross-sectorial complexity of many of the services envisaged mean that a clear business case may not be forthcoming – or the benefits for different stakeholders to share data are not clear.
· The data which is currently being collected may not be accessible or easily shared. Separate organisations use different standards to record data; it may not be kept for long enough to use in other situations, indeed the existence of the data may not be known widely.
· Concerns over data security, trust and privacy are have become significant concerns with the internet. The IoT will lead to orders of magnitude more data - on many aspects of a persons health for instance – individuals are naturally concerned about who is using that data and how it is being protected.
· The explosion in the number of connected devices will create a massive amount of data – how can the relevant data be easily identified and acted upon?
The demonstrator will show how these and other challenges can be addressed in real world internet of things scenarios. It is envisaged that successful outcomes would include:
· helping organisations to make more data from ‘things’ discoverable and accessible while taking account of issues such as ownership, security and privacy
· creating an ‘information hub’ where this data can be aggregated and made accessible at scale for application and service prototyping
· driving consensus on data formats, open interfaces and service enablers with buy-in across multiple sectors and application areas
In the first phase, the Technology Strategy Board will fund a number of consortia to develop IoT ‘clusters’. These will be based on real-world scenarios, including stakeholders with problems to be solved, application developers, owners of data streams from physical ‘things’ and people, and technology businesses who can make this data available and usable via open information hubs.
Relevance to Transport
We face unprecedented challenges of population growth, with an underlying expectation of almost unchecked economic growth, attendant issues of sustainability and increasing pressure on resources, which need to be balanced against our desire for increased travel and consumption.
As outlined above, the Internet of Things heralds a world of connectivity and intricately interconnected systems. Transport systems already depend on the smooth flow and exchange of large amounts of data from widely dispersed systems, whether it’s geopositioning, weather, traffic flow, passenger, timetable, costing, logistics information; and the proliferation of mobile apps and services is only going to grow exponentially.
Easy, efficient and sustainable movement of people and goods through our transport systems will depend on bringing together and effectively managing independent but inter-related systems to address the challenges our society will come to face.
This is a great opportunity for those interested in efficient transport systems – perhaps a city or large town – to blaze a trail with new and innovative ways of connecting things to create a different environment for work, leisure and logistics.
15 October 2012
The competition opens for expression of interest – please read the full brief at: http://www.innovateuk.org/content/competition/internet-of-things-ecosystem-demonstrator.ashx
18 October 2012
Consortia-building event in London. Please register at: http://iotconsortialondon.eventbrite.co.uk/
19 October 2012
Formal briefing webinar - details to be provided soon
24 October 2012
Consortia-building event in Manchester. Please register at: http://iotconsortiamanchester.eventbrite.co.uk/
14 November 2012 noon
Deadline for online registration
21 November 2012 noon
Expressions of interest (EOIs) to be received. Successful consortia will be invited to the next stage to submit full proposals.
For further information, please refer to - and join - the dedicated forum on _connect. /web/internet-of-things-ecosystem-demonstrator